Japanese electronics giant Panasonic is to build a lithium battery plant in China in what will be its first factory dedicated to batteries for electric vehicles in the country.
The $410million plant, in the northeastern city of Dalian, is slated to open in 2017 and will produce 200,000 batteries a year for EV and plug-in hybrid EVs.
Foreign firms are racing to join the lithium party in China, with Korean giants LG Chem and Samsung SDI building new plants in October 2015, Samsung’s in the former ancient capital of Xi’an, and LG Chem’s in another former Chinese capital, Nanjing.
Samsung will produce 40,000 units a year, while LG Chem’s plant has an annual capacity of 10,000 batteries.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology revealed that EV production in China to November last year quadrupled over the year previous, to 279,200 units.